Catania

Jul 9th, 2019, 12:59 PM
  #1  
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Catania

I've only been through the airport here but have read on Italian food sites that the city is undergoing a gastronomic renaissance which interests me. So thinking of spending maybe 2-3 night here before driving clockwise from there to the mountains near Cefalu and then flying home from Palermo.

Would love to hear opinions on the city of Catania: Where to stay and what to see. After our stay we would rent a car and travel on to Ragusa and maybe one other town in that SE corner of the island. This would be early June... probably. Which other town should we choose? Equally as important, which hotels?

Skipping Siracusa and Taormina and Agrigento, as have been a few times before.

From there, on towards Scala del Turchi (??) Castelveltrano? Trapani?

I would love all comments; I have limited internet where I am now so it might take me a few days to respond. Please do not think I am ignoring your response.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 9th, 2019, 01:20 PM
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I'm sure you saw this, but just in case since I just happened upon it today:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/06/t...Travel%20Issue
yorkshire is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 03:48 AM
  #3  
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Yorkshire: I had missed this! Thanks a million for the update!!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 06:04 AM
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I really liked Trapani. And Erice.

This is out of date but covers both near the end: Crumbling Palazzos and Creamy Cannoli - Savoring Sicily

Not that thrilled by Cefalu.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 07:08 AM
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Thanks! I thought we would go clockwise as far as an agriturismo in the Madonie mountains near Cefalu but not go to Cefalu. If anyone knows a great place to stay in the mountains, with great food, just say the word!

Then we could drive to Palermo airport (I know, wrong side of the city but that is ok..) Might skip Palermo this time but maybe not...

So far I have penciled in stays in:

Catania..3 nights (??)

Ragusa (but maybe add Sciclii or rural inn nearby..) Day trips to Modica and Noto if we do not add stays in either of those. ..4 nights Ragusa

Realmonte (for Scale dei Turchi and salt cathedral (??) 2 nights (??)

Castelveltrano (4 nights)


Then on to Trapani (day trip to Erice??) and the mountains before drive to Palermo airport, maybe stay in Palermo or Mondello before flying home.

I am in VERY early planning stages. Entire trip can be up to 3 weeks in length.
Will rent a car but want to minimize difficult driving so might take some taxis, for example, from Ragusa to nearby towns. Want to visit Vendicari reserves.

No Agrigento but maybe Selinunte. Have been to both but visit to the latter was about 40 years ago. (Believe it or not, on first honeymoon when took ferry to Tunis after Sicily; marriage did not last but memories did! Why does Tunisia get so few comments here??)

Please, again, forgive ignorance as have barely begun to plan..trip would be next year, mid May-early June.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 07:11 AM
  #6  
 
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We were in Sicily last September and stayed two nights in Catania. We loved it. We had lunch twice at Cafe Pam Pam. They have sandwiches, antipasti and meat/cheese boards. A nice selection of wine as well. The granita at Savia and Comis were excellent. Our first night in Catania was the day we arrived so we were jet lagged and just got take-out pizza from Pizzeria Sicilia Bedda and ate in our room (pretty good pizza). The second night we had dinner at Il Gambero Pazzo. They have a very nice outdoor area in the back. At first it was mostly tourists but the Italians started showing at a bit later. We stayed at the B&B Catania House. Good location and a nice breakfast. The English is limited which was okay for us (my husband speaks pretty good Italian). We really enjoyed the Roman theater, the Monastero dei Benedettini and the Terme della Rotonda (as well as all of the churches). And of course the markets.

We also spent 4 nights in Modica and loved it. We stayed at an apartment called I BALCONI SUL BAROCCO casa centro storico Modica which is on Trip Advisor. It’s got a bit of an Italian Grandma’s house vibe but was clean and in a good location and had a good little patio. We had some excellent meals at I Lupini, Fuoco dei Mori and Fichera 7117 – Dabbanna (we ate at I Lupini twice). We did day trips to Ragusa and Scicli from Modica and preferred Scicli over Ragusa. But we did enjoy our lunch at OFF Odierna Finestra Ferreri in Ragusa.

If you do go to Cefalu (which we enjoyed more than we expected to) dinner at Triscele is highly recommended.
valgalchi is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 07:15 AM
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SO helpful!!!! Mille grazie!

How was the driving in and out of Modica and in and out of Ragusa? So torn on where to stay in that area, but could stay in two places. The good thing is that we no longer work so have the time.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 07:49 AM
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My husband doesn't remember it being too bad (he did the driving). I'm scared of heights so some of the higher roads freaked me out a bit while he was fine with it. The drive to Castelbouno was the worst for that though. Parking was easy in both Ragusa and Scicli. If you do go to Scicli be sure to go to Dolceria Giannone for their Testa di Turco. They are huge so best to split one.
valgalchi is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 07:52 AM
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In Catania - probably stating the obvious but you need to spend some time at the fish market. Inside the market is this great street food shop called Mm - super nice people and excellent food. https://www.facebook.com/mmstreetfood/

When you visit the area around Trapani, Marsala is also worth a visit. It is a very pretty town. Going to the Madonie mountains is kind of far from all the other places you are visiting, but if you do add it, you could base in Castelbuono - super lively town with a good food scene. If you want something outside of a town, this property is beautiful. Can't comment on the food though. Home
rialtogrl is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 12:14 PM
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If you are in Noto, have a meal at Manna; they prepare really creative and delicious food. I believe they are open for lunch too.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 05:20 PM
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I recall that once you are down on the main drag in Modica getting in and out of town is straightforward (based on trip in 2010).
bon_voyage is offline  
Jul 11th, 2019, 09:52 AM
  #12  
 
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Eks

I loved Scicli and hotel novecento.

if you are going to Selinute look at La Foresteria Planeta Estate. Heavenly and highly rec!
Dayle is offline  
Jul 11th, 2019, 01:50 PM
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If you to Matsal and find my tennis shoes please don't bring them back. My fiancée forced me abandon those at that hotel.*
I obeyed. I am still with her ;-)
we didn't like Catania. Neither of us. But was also some time ago. I'd say 10-15 kgms earlier.*
ahbonvraiment is offline  
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